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Phantom Regiment

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Biography

Drum and Bugle Corps is an original American art form. The beginning can be traced to veterans organizations such as the VFW and the American Legion, as well as organizations such as the Catholic Youth Organization. Soldiers returning from World War I celebrated Veterans Day and the Fourth of July by marching parades to the drum and the bugle, just as they had done during the war.

The first two corps in the area, the VFW Post 342 and the American Legion Post 62, were comprised of veterans who were male and members of those particular posts. There have been many drum corps in the Rockford area since that time. By far the most prominent has been the Phantom Regiment.

Formed in 1956 by a group of VFW 342 members who wanted to see a competitive drum corps, it was named the Rockford Rangers, with an all-girl color guard to be called the Rangerettes.

Many of the members did not feel the name “Rangers” was appropriate for their corps. Some of the members had been listening to some Stetson D. Richmond records, and were impressed with a tune the Syracuse Brigadiers had played entitled “The Phantom Regiment.” Thus, before the corps had made any public appearances, the corps name had been changed to the Phantom Regiment and the all-girl color guard was called the Phantomettes.

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